Nora Love, Team Lead for the International Rescue Committee in Ukraine, said,

“The IRC is deeply concerned for the thousands of people urged to flee eastern Ukraine following intensified conflict and bombardments in the region. Already, 4.5 million people who have become refugees and over 7 million people displaced within Ukraine are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Schools, hospitals and public infrastructure have been destroyed - meaning the threat of harm to people, their communities and services which they depend on is displacement as people seek safety.

“This war has been rife with severe breaches of international humanitarian law and attacks on public infrastructure such as the Kramatorsk train station on Friday or schools and hospitals is a clear example of the Age of Impunity in which we live; where those that breach international laws do so without accountability. The International Rescue Committee is calling on all warring parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law including the protection of civilians and safe provision of humanitarian access. An immediate ceasefire and end to the senseless violence is needed in order to avoid further human suffering.”

The IRC launched an immediate emergency response to the conflict in Ukraine and has been working with partners in Poland and Ukraine since February 2022. The IRC is supporting partners in Ukraine to provide evacuation services to people trapped by the conflict and deliver essential items to those forced to flee, including blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes, and cash assistance. In Poland, the IRC is working with partners to deliver cash assistance, provide critical information through an existing hotline, offering legal counseling and psychological support to people dealing with trauma. The IRC is also working to help people displaced by the conflict access essential services through social workers, interpreters and cultural assistants.